Coping With COVID-19

When Kentucky schools shut down due to coronavirus in the spring of 2020, we pivoted our school-level school climate work to design a relevant state-wide research study. The goal was to gauge the impact of the crisis on students learning from home. We wanted to ensure education leaders navigating through the pandemic would better understand what Kentucky students were experiencing to inform their decision-making.


We enlisted adult research partners from the University of Kentucky and McRel International to conceive the Coping with COVID Student-to-Student Survey. After receiving nearly 13,000 student responses from all 120 of Kentucky’s counties, our team created an executive summary and regional reports for Kentucky’s nine educational co-ops and began amplifying and elevating the student voice we collected. We shared the research findings with a range of local and national education audiences from the Kentucky Board of Education and the Interim Joint Education Committee to the Policy Innovators in Education Network and the Aspen Institute.


As our team launches the second phase of our study involving 50 peer-to-peer qualitative interviews, we aim to ensure Kentucky students’ lived experiences drive decisions about our education. Our project shows what is possible when young people are enlisted as solutions-oriented education research partners. 


This project is strengthened by funding support from Project AWARE, Teach for America, National Geographic, The Woodrow Wilson Institute, and Pathway 2 Tomorrow.


Read the News Coverage

The Reinvention lab
May 1, 2020

First Portfolio of Enduring Ideas Award Winners

The Lane Report
May 11, 2020

Kentucky students create survey investigating how peers are coping with COVID-19

Lexington Herald-Leader
May 18, 2020

Depressed, dissatisfied by virtual learning. Survey shows KY students troubled by COVID-19.

May 19, 2020

COVID-19 on education: Survey asks students across Kentucky to share experiences

May 20, 2020

Kentucky student team surveying how COVID-19 has affected their peers

May 26, 2020

How Kentucky Teens are Handling COVID-19

The State Journal
June 1, 2020

Frankfort High students appointed to positions with state student council association

Courier Journal
July 6, 2020

Parents, teachers have been vocal about school reopenings. What do Kentucky students want?

The Reinvention Lab
August 3, 2020

Not “Having a Seat at the Table,” but Moving Tables and Creating Brand New Ones

August 6, 2020

New youth projects across United States focus on civic education

August 7, 2020

Study shows Ky. students more anxious, depressed & less motivated after initial wave of COVID

August 12, 2020

Survey: students' mental health majorly impacted by COVID-19

Lexington Herald-Leader
August 12, 2020

Some Ky. public, private schools defy governor on reopening. Could state take more action?

ABC 36
August 12, 2020

Survey: Students report big mental health impact from disruption

Northern Kentucky Tribune
August 14, 2020

Statewide survey shows Kentucky students report strong mental health impact of pandemic disruption

August 18, 2020

What Student Activists Want Teachers To Know About Virtual Learning and Reopening Schools

August 19, 2020

Kentucky lawmakers hear testimony on reopening school

PBS Newshour
August 21, 2020

Students have their own demands for school reopening

National Education Association
August 31, 2020

As School Year Begins, Students Raise Their Voices

University of Kentucky
October 9, 2020

UK Faculty Support Statewide Research Study on Pandemic Disruption

October 13, 2020

Young People Are Powerful Forces For Meaningful Change. We Should Listen To Them.

Richmond Register
October 27, 2020

As pandemic continues, students' mental health may suffer

The Reinvention Lab
November 2, 2020

Learning Horizons: What equity-centered, radical learning innovators are showing us about where learning is headed